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Gypsy's Music to wind down

Last week I recommended music that would pump you up; this week I'm responding to requests for music to wind down an evening or week:

Charles Griffes Three Tone Pictures. The recording I have is the 2nd in the list - Buffalo Phil with JoAnn Falleta. This one has a number of pieces for a lazy day. The Tone Pictures are the shortest on this list of recommendations. You might also check out the recording with Sherrill Milnes (he is from my hood after all), Ozawa and New World Chamber Orchestra.

Alan Hovhaness Symphony No. 2, Op. 132 "Mysterious Mountain". I had some students perform a work of Hovhaness's recently. He was something of a mystique and, like Griffes, had a penchant for eastern music. The recording with the American Composers Orchestra is another one for a subdued day/evening.

Henryk Gorecki Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 with Dawn Upshaw. This is the definitive recording, at least currently. Very meditative music, taking texts from 1. Holy Cross Lament from the "Lysagora Songs," 2. Prayer inscribed on wall 3 of cell #3 in the basement of the "Palace" (Gestapo headquarters in Zakopane), and 3. Polish Ave Maria (Zdrowas Mario). This work is a plea for peace, and is both a crafty and peaceful composition.

I have themes to take us to Thanksgiving; if you have ideas, call them out.



Thanks for the great suggestions! I've really enjoyed listening to some things I hadn't heard before and some things I had forgotten about - keep up the good work!

I just wanted to mention a couple pieces that I've been listening to recently that I find both incredibly peaceful and incredibly passionate.

Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light is an amazing Oratorio written to and inspired by the great silent film "The Passion of Joan of Arc"

The second is a classic - "Einstein on the Beach" by Philip Glass.

Turn off the lights, lay back with a glass of scotch, and let these wash over you - I find that each time I listen to them I never end as the same person.

Thanks again!

Thanks Mitchell. With your additions, people can really relax during the weekend.

I met to ask you this, gypsy - I must have missed some conversation. Your students in?

Oh - I teach music at a university for a living. Since I'm untenured, I'm still hanging on to my screen name.

My students played some movements from a nifty piece called The Spirit of Ink. I caught sight of a recording of the flute trio while searching Amazon for Mysterious Mountain, so it was in my mind. Now I'll be dropping some dough on it and some of the other music suggested in this post. This is dangerous...

Wow - really beautiful - completely unknown to me. That's so great. I am going to have to see if pandora has them...

I have just listened to that recording of The Buffalo Phil / Charles Griffes on Spotify - it was lovely! Again one I have not encountered before - thanks Gypsy

I just checked out spotify - it's not available here. Can you get Pandora?

NO, Pandora isn't available on this side of the pond. I did try and got a very nicely apologetic page telling me that they were trying, or words to that effect.

How do you listen to your music? Here is a short piece from the BBC on sound quality perception.

Man - that was a hatchet job. The CD quality is obviously going to be as high or higher than the iPod. Depending on the compression of the file actually being played on the iPod, anyone knows that any CD will do as well. And pitting a half-decent used stereo system against a cheap new system? Again - exactly as one would expect. To be even halfway fair about this, he should have at least cited the price of the old system when it was new - in today's dollars.

To be sure, people ought to be thinking twice before they throw their old systems out, especially since they may very well be able to buy some fairly cheap hardware to make use of their old amplifiers and and old speakers with their new iPod.

One more thing - if you are going to be playing the mucic in your home anyway, you don't need the iPod at all - just get an Airport express (or equivalent wireless device) and play music on your old stereo system directly from iTunes. My local NPR radio station also is of much higher quality through its internet feed than through the lousy antenna I have on the stereo. Not to mention all the other internet feeds.

Interesting stuff. I've known my fair share of audiophiles - and they weren't musicians, just music lovers. They preferred vinyl, expensive speakers, and liquid gold cables.

For CD's, the more "A's" (analog) you can get int he recording mix, the better.

As for airport express - thanks for the tip. I'm still on the minimum internet-wise. Maybe that will change some day, but by then I should able to leapfrog into the next available technology.

I can see that you weekly recommendations will be a must for me - I don't take the time to really look for music, and now I have someone to find music for me the way that Norm finds me lots of other interesting stuff!


Hear hear! to the Griffes, although Rebecca Clarke would have been, more known had she manlily ventured beyond chamber music, Gorecki, lugubrious molasses, oh Penderecki, why hast thou become so conservative? The lone composer is the perfect example of Ayn Randiness. Surely collaboration, co-labor could bring forth more auspicious final products. Danielpour, or Stravinsky, having to collaborate for a ballet, e.g. Gypsy you are such a grown-up! Untenured, tethered, whatever...

I'd love to hear what you (any of you) think of the pieces I recommended if you listen to them. Philip Glass usually elicits strong responses and thoughts and the other piece is quite new to me and I don't know much about it critically. I would assume you already know Glass, but as far as the Einhorn I don't understand why it isn't better known and I'd love to hear other people's responses to it.

Thanks again.


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